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Port Lobster – Kennebunkport, Maine

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port lobster roll
For as many times as I’ve visited Kennebunkport, I’m really not sure why I didn’t even know that this unassuming little shop sold lobster rolls.  Port Lobster is a little brick building just outside of town by the Colony hotel.  Which, by the way is a great place to stay, particularly if you are looking for a dog friendly venue, and it’s one of the best places to have a beverage overlooking the ocean.  Port Lobster is a great fish shop for getting some fresh lobster that they will steam for you so you can go enjoy them someplace pretty.  I spotted the sign for the $9.99 lobster roll and needed to give it a try.  This may sound terrible, but I always expect a $10 lobster roll to be previously frozen meat.  I mean, lobster meat, fresh picked isn’t cheap so I usually assume that you can either have a fresh picked lobster roll or an inexpensive lobster roll.  Happily, such is not the case at Port Lobster.  They use fresh picked, by them, lobster meat, fresh picked that morning according to the gal at the counter.In addition to selling fresh lobster by the pound, they also sold frozen lobster by the pound, the price difference being $40 for fresh vs. $26 for frozen.  This is the reason that, without exception, I consider it a rip off when a lobster roll made with previously frozen meat is being sold for the same price or higher than fresh.  Even if it tastes not bad, they should still be charging less.  I asked the gal here at Port Lobster if the frozen meat would be acceptable to use when making a lobster roll.  She said absolutely not, the frozen meat is best used in cooked dishes, but when you are eating the meat straight, as in a lobster roll, it just isn’t very good if it’s frozen.  I couldn’t agree more.

So, the lobster roll at Port Lobster was quite a surprising delight.  Surprising because of the price and the fact that I had missed it all this time.  The meat is tasty, briny and most certainly fresh.  It is served in nicely sized chunks of both tail and claw/knuckle cold meat lightly tossed to order in minimal mayo.  But, since they mix to order, I’m sure you could request your desired amount of mayo.  The bun is the standard split top and can be toasted, but I went with un-toasted.  The size of the lobster roll is perfect, not too big, but perfect bread:meat ratio.  I didn’t have to move any meat down the bun to get an ideal bite.  I really quite enjoyed this lobster roll and at that price, I very well may need to order several next time!

Weighed in at 5.6 oz.

Port Lobster website

Visited May 2013

Footbridge Lobster – Ogunquit, Maine

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Footbridge Lobster’s lobster roll is in my book, Lobster Rolls of New England!!

lobster coveredited


J.T. Farnham’s – Essex, Massachussets

J T Farnham lobster roll

This is the perfect place to take in leaf peeping season while enjoying a tasty lobster roll.  This house-like establishment is situated overlooking a salt marsh, parking is a little sparse, but not a concern in the afternoon in October.  I love that instead of being open three months a year, as many lobster roll spots are, this is only closed three months a year.  Closes end of November and reopens the first week of March.

Walking into J.T. Farnhams feels like walking into your great aunt’s country house kitchen, circa 1950, in a very good way.  The kitchen floor is large checkerboard tile, the fairly large dining room is furnished with pine wood booths and the whole room has wrap around windows to take in the view, very cozy warm, friendly vibe.  The ladies working there are just sweet as pie, and the serve beer and wine, always a plus in my book.  As I ordered, I found out that they do indeed cook and pick the lobster meat fresh daily, and, upon ordering my butter side, I also found that you can order the lobster any way you like because it is mixed to order, love it.

The lobster roll did not disappoint, it was just as tasty tail and claw meat as I expected, generous portion, with a side of great onion rings.  Establishments in this area are known for their fried whole belly clams.  Since I’m not a fan of much fried, the onion rings were as close as I’m getting to the fame.  The lobster meat was more chopped than I usually go for, but it worked, minimal mayo, but remember, you can order it your way.  The bun was buttery grilled standard split bun.  To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the bread.  The place just had such a family, homey vibe, I guess I was expecting fresh baked bread.  I know, my fault, it’s so rare an occurrence that I in no way take off points for the standard bun, but I do add points on the rare, rare day that I encounter one.  So, overall, great place, great schedule, beautiful view, fantastic, customizable lobster roll.  Top notch spot, I’ll be back for sure.

Weighed in at 7.1 oz.

Visited October 2012

J.T. Farnham's on Urbanspoon